Westfield America Trust expands portfolio

05 November 2003

Countries: United States

Westfield America Trust today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, for US$92.5 million at a yield of 8.1%. The transaction is expected to close in the next few weeks.

The mall is a 919,800 square foot regional shopping center anchored by Marshall Fields, Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney and Sears, with 102 specialty shops.

The single-level center was originally built in 1978 and renovated in 1995. Total sales for 2002 were approximately US$171 million with specialty store sales productivity at approximately US$326 per square foot.

Louis Joliet Mall serves a primary trade area of over 438,000 people with average household incomes of more than $74,500 (U.S. 2002 average was $59,100). The population is projected to grow by 17% to more than 511,000 by 2007. Joliet is one of the top ten fastest growing cities in the United States.

“Louis Joliet provides an excellent geographic fit with our Chicago cluster and follows the recent acquisition of our interest in Westfield Shoppingtown North Bridge,” said Westfield Managing Director Peter Lowy. “With the market’s explosive growth potential, the property also offers both short and long-term redevelopment opportunities.”

The center will be branded Westfield Shoppingtown Louis Joliet, and increases Westfield America’s market presence to six regional centers in the greater Chicago cluster and 66 in the U.S. Westfield’s other portfolio holdings in the Chicago market cluster include Westfield Shoppingtowns Fox Valley in Aurora, Hawthorn in Vernon Hills, North Bridge in Chicago, Old Orchard in Skokie and Southlake in Hobart, Indiana.